how to become a fashion stylist

As fashion continues to evolve and expand, the demand for fashion stylists is rapidly increasing. A fashion stylist is a professional who selects outfits and accessories for a photo shoot, editorial spread, music video, film, or other media project. Their role is to curate a cohesive look that tells a story and captures the attention of the viewer.

If you’re interested in becoming a fashion stylist, there are a few key steps you should take to break into the industry. In this article, we’ll discuss the various skills you need to develop, the education and experience required, and tips for success in the field of fashion styling.

1. Develop Your Fashion Sense and Eye for Style

The first step to becoming a fashion stylist is to develop a keen sense of style and a great eye for fashion. This means keeping up with the latest trends, understanding how to mix and match different colors and textures, and having a deep understanding of the fashion industry. Reading fashion magazines, attending fashion shows, and following fashion bloggers and influencers can help you develop your style and stay up-to-date on the latest trends.

Additionally, it’s essential to practice putting together different outfits and styles. You can do this by styling yourself and your friends or by working with local photographers and models to create portfolio pieces. This will give you the opportunity to experiment with different styles and looks, and to develop your creative eye for fashion.

2. Learn the Fundamentals of Fashion Styling

To become a successful fashion stylist, you need to have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of fashion styling. This includes understanding the different body types, the importance of fit, and the various styles and trends. You’ll also need to know how to accessorize outfits, mix and match different patterns and textures, and create looks that are cohesive and visually appealing.

You can learn the fundamentals of fashion styling through a variety of sources, including fashion schools, online courses, and workshops. Many colleges and universities offer degree programs in fashion merchandising, which includes courses in fashion styling. You can also take online courses from websites like Udemy, Skillshare, or Masterclass.

3. Gain Experience in the Fashion Industry

In addition to developing your fashion sense and knowledge, gaining experience in the fashion industry is essential to becoming a successful fashion stylist. This includes working as a fashion assistant, interning at a fashion magazine, or working with a fashion designer or boutique.

By gaining experience in the fashion industry, you’ll learn about the different aspects of fashion styling, including the creative and logistical processes involved in putting together a fashion shoot. You’ll also build a network of contacts in the industry, which can be valuable when seeking new opportunities.

4. Build Your Portfolio

Your portfolio is a collection of your best work as a fashion stylist. It’s your calling card when seeking new clients and opportunities in the industry. Building a strong portfolio is essential to becoming a successful fashion stylist.

To build your portfolio, you should focus on creating a range of looks and styles that showcase your creativity and versatility as a stylist. You can do this by working with local photographers, models, and makeup artists to create portfolio pieces. You can also participate in fashion styling competitions or create your own editorial shoots to add to your portfolio.

5. Network and Promote Yourself

Networking and self-promotion are critical to becoming a successful fashion stylist. You need to build relationships with photographers, models, makeup artists, designers, and other industry professionals to gain new opportunities and clients.

To network effectively, you should attend fashion events and industry conferences, join fashion industry associations, and participate in online fashion communities. You should also promote yourself through social media, a personal website, and a professional email signature that includes your contact information and links to your portfolio.


Becoming a fashion stylist takes time, effort, and dedication, but it can be a rewarding career for those who are passionate about fashion and styling. By developing your fashion sense and eye for style, learning the fundamentals of fashion styling, gaining experience in the fashion industry, building your portfolio, and networking and promoting yourself, you can break into the industry and build a successful career as a fashion stylist.

One additional tip for success as a fashion stylist is to stay current with the latest trends and styles. Fashion is constantly evolving, and it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, both in terms of clothing and accessories. This will help you stay relevant as a stylist and ensure that your work stays fresh and innovative.

It’s also important to be open to feedback and constructive criticism. Fashion is a collaborative industry, and working with other professionals is essential to creating successful fashion shoots and projects. By listening to feedback and incorporating it into your work, you can continue to improve and grow as a fashion stylist.

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